The UPDF 4th Division Court Martial sitting in Gulu City has sentenced to 12 years Uganda People's Defense Forces (UPDF) soldier Private Ochola Denis Otto who shot dead a student of Gulu Central High School over manslaughter. He was sentenced to Gulu Main Prison.
Ochola, attached to 4th Division was found guilty on Wednesday, November, 23, 2022, for unintentionally shooting dead Rwotomiya, a student of Gulu Central High School, in Gulu city on March 6, 2022.
Rwotomiya was discovered dead up on the tree with several bullet wounds on his body shortly after police with UPDF fired bullets to scare protesters.
Ochola was charged with murder, but the ruling made by Col. George Nambafu found him guilty of manslaughter after all testimonies from the twelve prosecution witnesses couldn't prove that he killed the deceased while quelling a student strike sine he was not the only one who fired bullets in the air.
The incident happened when police and UPDF responded to a call to stop a student's protest after the school administrators banned the watching of the premier league match between Manchester United and Manchester City early this year.
According to Nambafu, the charge was reduced from murder to manslaughter because the state failed to prove that the killer's bullets were fired by the accused.
"The state also failed to prove ballistic evidence connecting the accused to the killer's bullets. So, we found that he was killed unintentionally since it was normal to shoot warning shots in the air. He stated.
"Court is given the discretion to award any sentence when you are charged with manslaughter. It does not have a mandatory punishment like murder," he concluded.